CAPE TOWN – Nissan South Africa and sub-Saharan Africa managing director Mike Whitfield has been appointed managing director of Nissan Motor Egypt.
The Japanese-based group said yesterday that Whitfield would also serve as chairperson of Nissan in Africa South as it announced changes in its senior management structure in Africa to drive growth.
Africa is seen as the last frontier for global carmakers.
The group said Whitfield would be based in Cairo and his appointment would be effective from June 20.
Whitfield, a former president of the National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa and vice-president of the African Association of Automotive Manufacturers, joined Nissan in 1981 as a marketing trainee.
Since then he has held a variety of senior positions before being appointed as Nissan SA's managing director in 2008. “Under his leadership, Nissan posted a record market share in South Africa of more than 10 percent in the last financial year, the highest this century,” the group said.
It said Shinkichi Izumi would succeed him as the managing director of Nissan South Africa.
“Nissan has a plan for rapid and sustainable growth in Africa. We were the first to assemble cars in Nigeria and our ambition is to lead the way in developing automotive manufacturing on the continent,” said the chairperson of Nissan’s Africa, Middle East and India region, Peyman Kargar.